Thursday, December 12, 2013

New Indoor Themed Area Opening at Europa Park in 2014

This was announced over a year ago, and I will admit that I never really took the time to read about Europa Park's latest addition in detail.  Shame on me for sure, as Arthur - In the Minimoys Kingdom looks to be an impressive indoor expansion that contains several rides inside an enormous structure filled to the brim with theming.  The area is based off of the film series featuring Arthur, and will transport visitors to Europa Park into their world... though in miniature form as with the movies.

I had read that the park was adding a family coaster, and that is indeed a part of the new section.  The ride has a couple outdoor sections, and looks intentionally tame, using a powered track to move around and gravity at other times (or so it appears from photos).  The ride system is brand new and fabricated by Mack.  The trains consist of three cars each holding four passengers.  They are inverted below the track above, but are capable of turning much like a Disney omnimover system, and also have on-board audio.  The system will allow the riders to be faced toward the seven different 'kingdoms' that the ride passes though, and also allows for interaction with the animatronics and other characters.

This shot of the ride was from before the roof of the structure went on, and as big as this space is it's actually only one small part of the overall building.  The new area features several food and retail locations along with other rides, like a family sized freefall and another spinning flat ride, as well as a playground, water features, and the overall enchanted setting.

This is a shot of a model of part of the Arthur area, showing off just how detailed they are going with the theming.  The park recently invited some press to check out the progress so far, and this coverage really shows off how huge the structure is - and also gives a neat look at the now completed track for the family coaster ride.

Europa Park has been doing a great job documenting the construction of the addition, and recently opened a mini-site just for it.  It features plenty of photos and video updates as well.  I hope the ride system is a hit and other parks take notice - I absolutely love the rotating seats and think there's so many applications for them with themed rides!